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Survivor's Village Established Outside St. Bernard Development
by wimpyknees Monday, Jun. 05, 2006 at 11:41 AM

On Saturday, June 3rd, residents of the St. Bernard housing development errected a "Survivor's Village" to protest the state's refusal to allow them into their homes.

Survivor's Village E...
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On Saturday, June 3rd, residents of the St. Bernard housing development errected a "Survivor's Village" to protest the state's refusal to allow them into their homes.

Beginning at around 9am, residents began assembling a number of large tents, placing them on wooden pallattes both directly in front of the Development and along the grassy median strip in the middle of St. Bernard Avenue.

Since Katrina, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) in collaboration with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Develpment (HUD), have refused to allow public housing residents into their homes, instead fencing the entire properties off with barbed-wire and chain-linked fence.

"It's not safe to leave this city anymore," explained one resident of St. Bernard Development. "You leave and you might not be able to get back into your home when you come back."

It is widely assumed that the state seeks to keep residents permanently out of the projects, opting instead to turn them into green space or sell the lands off to private developers.

The Survivor Village represented the first action by residents of St. Bernard to gain reentry to their homes. Throughout the morning, the group of residents, volunteers, and community members grew in the "Survivor's Village," culminating in a well-attended press conference at 1pm amid a dozen tents, food, and music.

Police presence was heavy, ubiquitous cruisers slowly winding up and down St. Bernard Avenue around the Survivor's Village. However, residents do not expect any serious confrontations with local authorities. Until July 4th, that is, when the residents plan to get back into their homes, whether an agreement has been reached with the city and federal governments or not.

"We have to escalate the struggle," said one resident, speaking on the July 4th action. "We can't keep it dormant."

In related news, the Flordia Development, another New Orleans public housing project, saw the first entry of its residents since Katrina, as a large group walked onto the property to begin the cleanup process. A number of volunteers from around the country accompanied them. The cleanup resulted in a last-minute deal reached between the residents and the city government to avert a confrontation between the people and the police.

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Resident and Volunteers Outside the Gates
by wimpyknees Monday, Jun. 05, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Resident and Volunte...
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Residents and Survivor's Village
by wimpyknees Monday, Jun. 05, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Residents and Surviv...
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by wimpyknees Monday, Jun. 05, 2006 at 11:41 AM

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Young Volunteers and Police
by wimpyknees Monday, Jun. 05, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Young Volunteers and...
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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
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More Pics wimpyknees Sunday, Jun. 25, 2006 at 2:47 PM
website - survivors' village Friday, Jun. 09, 2006 at 8:52 AM

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